Sunday, February 25, 2007

Long post ... because I had time.

Playing around with my old computer really makes me remember of what could have been. I have so many old ballads that I had on my old computer that have the 'rain' theme in it. If I ever had an emo phase, that would have been the time to label it as such. Back then, when I was in grade 11 and 12, I was very deep into introspection. I did not really fit in. I had a different view than most people. In order to fit in better, I tried to analyze my way in by imitating others. However, after a while, in university, I realized that there was no point in it. It helps to develop camaderie, but eventually, it is who you are that people judge you for. I was different. Or unique. Or messed in the head. I have a self-image/self-esteem problem, but at the same time, I'm elitist in certain aspects. I'm a walking contradiction and I don't know how to handle that sometimes.

Coming back home has been a walk in the past. Without the distractions of the internet, I feel continuously bored, but at the same time, it was refreshing to think again. Since grade 11 when I first got broadband, I think that most of my time have been either on Realms (a MUD), warcraft 3 (a RTS) or WoW. Between downloading anime/manga/TV shows and watching them, I barely had time to do anything else. Sometimes, I think that its a waste of time. Most of the time, it is like a drug that stops me from thinking, and sometimes it helps. Thinking, overthinking, and overanalyzing hurts sometimes. Many enterprises of great pith and moment, with this regard, their currents turn awry and lose the name of action. I also think that is why so many people like to drink. It makes them stop thinking of the consequences. Some of my friends don't understand why anyone would want to lose their 'sense' of reason. In a way, it is liberating. In another perspective, it is incredibly stupid. However, drinking does stop you from thinking and starts you on acting. On the other hand, I don't drink at a club because I find clubs are not fun. I don't enjoy dancing. Girls (and maybe some guys) think dancing/grinding is only acceptable at a club. When you can do stuff randomly and people would chuck it up to being at a club. Me, I do random stuff all the time, and people call me weird. I just call it 'who the hell cares what you think'? I think I have too much anarchist in me. But then again, I adher to order a lot more than chaos. I try to follow the rules still. It is an interesting paradox. I guess it may be that I like an overall framework but I would bend the framework as much as I can to fit myself. Or change myself to fit the framework. I'm nothing if not adaptable.

But I guess this really hurts my chances of meeting people I click with. I kind of miss how we use to be. Nowadays, most of my friends (and probably me as well) are, in my humble opinion, stuck in a rut. We get along fine, but we know enough of each other that most of the time, we're bored of each other. We know exactly what we would do in case situations. It kind of saddens me to think so, but it is the case. And older friends, we are drifting further and further apart. Sometimes I wonder what we had in common in the first place. But then again, I could analyze that to be a case of situations. Nowadays, I keep up with mainly a few old friends, but the rest, I rarely see. And this really makes me...sad? melancholy would be a better word. Given the pattern, this will happen to my university friends as well. At least we each hold a love of 'electrical engineering' in our hearts to make a connection that will stand a bit of the test of time.

Finding 'friends' is hard enough. And yes, friends are hard to find. Friends are not people you call up every so often. Fine. I think the english language lacks enough words to describe the levels of friendship. I think the term would be buddy. Finding buddies. No, not really. But people who really get you. People who get who you are, what you are and where you're going. Those people are hard to find.

My first year was 'wasted'. I did nothing but pretty much stayed at home. To this day, I still haven't gone to a house party. Second year, our class was cohesive. We did many more things then we did. However, because some people failed out, our class seperated again. And Third year, we started going to clubs/bars, but I stopped going to class. And its fourth year already. Clubs now hold almost no interest to me. I feel bored at most bars unless I drink enough. Sometimes I wonder what I do for fun. Now I kind of see why some people take drugs.

I thrive on quick competitions. Scrimmages of indoor soccer, or DOTA on warcraft 3. I find them immensely challenging and fun. Long competitions are not as fun, but I still enjoy it. But struggling for marks, I find boring. It is not a fair challenge. It tests theoretical knowledge that is just that, theoretical. It changes nothing. Knowing one single fact at one point in time changes nothing about what things will occur in the future. Project courses are different. I enjoy project courses, where the whole purpose is to build something and have it demonstrated to the world. Theory may change the world, but much less than the application of said theory. People may argue with me that I have no weight in my opinion by going against years of traditional doctrine that states that it has always been thus and marks in university is a good gauge of how good you are. I find that it is not. But others will probably not agree with me. I used to do well in high school because we knew what we knew at that point was not enough to change the world. We treated exams and tests as competitions. I enjoyed it. It was fun competing with Edwin and Edmund for marks on tests. It was a game. But in university. Too many people took it too seriously. It was also not what you know what you can do that was important. It was whether or not you knew some obscure fact at this point in time. No matter that you would forget it in an hour after the exam. It tested your memorization abilities. People with photographic memories would almost definately ace an engineering exam. Me, I think it is retarded.

I just watched Garden State again, and I really think it is my favourite movie ever. It is strange, but its theme and its acting really touches me. It describes a bit exactly of how I want my happily ever after to look like. Too bad it is a movie, and pretty much a flight of fantasy. The commentary that the actors provided on the DVD expresses how I feel very well. I'd rant about the girl aspect of the movie later, but it describes the numbness and the search for contentment very well. You know why I was so apathetic about things? Because I felt that it doesn't matter. A lot of things don't matter in this world. But we keep doing it because we feel that it does. Sometimes I wonder about sports teams. Celebrities. Porn.

I don't understand why my friends like going to strip bars. Granted, they like the view, but last time I went, I fell asleep. I was tired that day, but it really held no interest in me. Haha. I wonder if there's something defective about me. But I mean, to me, the most interesting physical feature of a person is the face, and I don't need to go to a strip club to see that. Shrug. I mean, if all they want to do is to see some titties like Method Man in Garden State, they'll probably have it easier by downloading from the internet. Oh well. To each, their own.

And another comment that Zach Braff made in the commentary of Garden State that resonated with me. It was during that scene when Large told Sam he likes her. Zach comments that if you ever tell your female target you like her, you want her response to be that. After watching the movie again, I feel that he's right on.

And after watching Heroes, I wonder if I had to have a power, I would like to have Sylar's. His personality is similar to mine, in that we both try to understand everyone and everything around us. Personally people think a lot of things that are probably wrong about me, I think. In Montreal, after coming back from a club early (Muz and I left early because we were bored), I turned the channel to Showcase. It was their friday lineup of soft core porn and they had a documentary about the porn industry called Porno Valley. On another channel was 'The world is not enough'. To me, I found the documentary much more interesting because it featured how people responded at 'porn' conventions (which looked so similar to anime conventions) and how the actresses reacted to certain things. To me, stuff like that was interesting not because of its pornographic appeal, but because it showed me something about life that other people would that I would not do. It showed me something new about the world that I would not have found out otherwise. I think if I could do anything I want to do, I would either be a) just try to be content and probably in a loving relationship with someone or b) I would devote my life to my work of cateloging knowledge. I would love to know how things work because it is cool to know stuff that other people don't. That, I guess, would be a reason why I'm in engineering. Not because I'm super-interested in designing the next revolution of technology like the personal computer, but because to me, just finding out how cell phone networks or the internet works is cool.

Of course, my personal wish would be to be a student of cognitive science and psychology. Even better yet, I would have the ability to mind read people. That way, I can understand people even more. In my opinion, that's the biggest challenge to me yet, understanding other people. Most things have a static output given a certain input. It's the basis of casuality. It is the basis on how we think of the world. Only humans really reject that. We are the only truly chaotic element in the world. Everything else, such as quantum theory, are chaotic only because we don't understand what type of quasi-psuedo random number generator "God" is using. On the other hand, it could be just that we don't understand ourselves enough to know exactly what we will do to certain situations. I think there would be a huge future for that technology. But it will probably end civilization as we know it.

Enough about what I want or what I wish. Wanting or wishing doesn't make them happen, although it is probably a step in the right direction. i want to be happy, even if it is alone? Yes, even if it alone. At least I'll have my muse. I don't think many people in the world right now are happy, or even content. We strive for frivolous things, but never for things that we need to build a stable foundation. We're willing to risk a content life for a happy life. Is that a fair risk? I don't know. I'll tell you in 20 years.

Well, I definately feel less nostalgic now. I'll write about girls some other time. Good night and sweet dreams, my Valkyrie.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The brain is a feedback machine

The brain, is a feedback machine. We can break it just as easily, if we entered inputs that the brain was not supposed to handle. This means that we can break minds just by creating extreme sensations, not just pain, but pleasure. That I believe, covers the breaking of minds using torture and drugs. Now, there are two ways to counteract this problem. One is to make the mind dampen down on extreme pain or pleasure. While this might be good in the short run, it is not viable in the long run. Loss of pain or pleasure means a loss of sensation in general. Therefore, in the long run, the person's feedback of reflexes and actions would be slower than those that have not dampened down.

The other method is to make the brain used to the pain or pleasure so that the range of pain or pleasure a mind could take is increased. It will still retain sense of the pain or pleasure, but the brain will not shut down automatically. However, this means a long training process, which may not be viable.

The brain is a mighty fragile thing.
I think any world, anything that exists follow a set of rules. Yes, the rules may change, but there will always be a set of rules. Every situation will have certain rules. The point is that as long as you can figure out the rules, and the way to change it, you'll win. There is not a thing in the universe that is made entirely out of chaos and chance. If it did, it wouldn't exist for very long.

Anyways, I don't know what I'm writing. Only that these ideas seem interesting somehow. Yes, I know I haven't posted for a while, but I just haven't felt like it lately.